Case study: Co-creating the Lewisham Low Traffic Neighbourhood 2020
Lewisham Council were able to implement the largest low traffic neighbourhood to date, with 14 traffic restriction schemes and 3 school streets
The Healthy Neighbourhood programme aims to make the London Borough of Lewisham greener, healthier and a more attractive place to live, work and do business. A key target set by the Mayor of London and the LBL Transport Strategy is for 80% of all journeys in London to be made by sustainable modes of transport (walking, cycling & public transit) by 2041.
In early 2019, the Lewisham secured funding and commissioned The Future Fox and Sustrans to deliver detailed community engagement and co-design of a low traffic neighbourhood (“Healthy Neighbourhood”), with the aim of creating a street environment that encourages people to walk and cycle instead of drive.
The Council wanted to reduce traffic cutting through (rat-running) residential areas at peak traffic times in the Lewisham & Lee Green area and improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
They saw an opportunity to restrict through-traffic, through low cost measures such as filtered permeability, to support the borough-wide strategy.
Engaging the local community
Information about the new Healthy Neighbourhoods programme and a link to the StreetBuilder survey was sent to 8785 households in the project area of Lewisham & Lee Green and shared on social media, online mailing lists and a poster campaign.
797 people responded, leaving thousands of comments, representing the highest level of engagement the local councillors had seen to a public consultation to date.
Moving from issues to solutions
Implementing measures like filtered permeability are known to be controversial with local communities. A different engagement approach was needed for the Council to understand how the community felt about the different options that were deliverable within scope. Our StreetBuilder platform was used to encourage the community to highlight the traffic-related issues in their area they cared about, and state their preferences about different solution options.
How the community engagement data helped
The result was a radical traffic reduction masterplan with 15 filtered permeability measures and school streets. The data provided by StreetBuilder was robust and demonstrated strong local support for these measures, giving councillors and cabinet members confidence in taking forward the masterplan as envisioned by the community.
The majority of the measures were delivered in June 2020, which is a vital part of Lewisham Council's COVID-19 response. Some of the 15 have since been removed due to increased traffic levels on the South Circular due to changing mode shares, however the majority of closures remain in place and are being monitored.
StreetBuilder made it easier for us to incorporate community feedback into designs. This is vital to build trust and show we’re listening, and meant we could improve the neighbourhood in the way our communities wanted.